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Environ Sci Technol. 2018 Oct 16;52(20):11612-11620. doi: 10.1021/acs.est.8b02466. Epub 2018 Oct 8.

Effect of Titanium Dioxide on Secondary Organic Aerosol Formation.

Chen Y1,2,3, Tong S1, Wang J1, Peng C1,2, Ge M1,2,4, Xie X5, Sun J5.

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Beijing National Laboratory for Molecular Sciences (BNLMS), State Key Laboratory for Structural Chemistry of Unstable and Stable Species, CAS Research/Education Center for Excellence in Molecular Sciences, Institute of Chemistry , Chinese Academy of Sciences , Beijing 100190 , China.
University of Chinese Academy of Sciences , Beijing 100049 , China.
BNLMS, State Key Laboratory for Structural Chemistry of Unstable and Stable Species, College of Chemistry and Molecular Engineering , Peking University , Beijing 100871 , China.
Center for Excellence in Regional Atmospheric Environment , Institute of Urban Environment, Chinese Academy of Sciences , Xiamen 361021 , China.
Shanghai Institute of Ceramics , Chinese Academy of Sciences , Shanghai 200050 , China.


Secondary organic aerosol (SOA), a dominant air pollutant in many countries, threatens the lives of millions of people. Extensive efforts have been invested in studying the formation mechanisms and influence factors of SOA. As promising materials in eliminating air pollutants, the role of photocatalytic materials in SOA formation is unclear. In this study, TiO2 was employed to explore its impact on SOA formation during the photooxidation of m-xylene with NO x in a smog chamber. We found that the presence of TiO2 strongly suppressed SOA formation. The yields of SOA in the photooxidation experiments of m-xylene with NO x were 0.3-4%, whereas negligible SOA was formed when TiO2 was added. When ((NH4)2SO4) was introduced as seed particles, the presence of TiO2 decreased the yields of SOA from 0.3-6% to 0.3-1.6%. The sharply decreased concentrations of reactive carbonyl compounds were the direct cause of the suppression effect of TiO2 on SOA formation. However, the suppression effect was influenced by the addition of seed particles and the initial concentration of NO x. Reaction mechanisms of the photocatalysis of m-xylene with and without NO x were proposed.

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